By YBhg Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar
President & CEO
Maybank views the recent claims made by the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) via its General Secretary as unfounded and without any basis.
Contrary to such claims by NUBE, Maybank would like to reiterate that we have always respected the rights of our employees to choose how they wish to be represented by unions, be it in-house unions or industry unions. NUBE is a national union that represents clerical and non-clerical employees in many but not all banks.
There are currently 3 groups of employees within Maybank being represented by 3 in-house unions and 4 industry unions. They are segmented as follows:
The compensation and benefits of clerical employees who are members of NUBE are governed by the Collective Agreement (CA) which NUBE negotiates with the Malayan Commercial Banks Association, a body that represents banks in Malaysia. Payment of bonus for clerical employees is also covered in the CA. As such, all banks represented by NUBE, including Maybank, are obliged to pay this bonus. The quantum of bonus is 2 months pay per annum as negotiated and agreed between NUBE and MCBA.
During previous CA negotiations, NUBE did not agree to MCBA’s proposal for a variable bonus to be based on performance instead of a contractual quantum. Hence, the variable additional bonus is not an item that NUBE can now demand seeing it is over and above what was negotiated and agreed to.
In response to NUBE’s allegations involving Maybank’s bonuses and remuneration, we would like to highlight that the Bank has not only complied with the MCBA/NUBE CA but also exceeded the benefits of the said CA as detailed below:
- In 2010, Maybank paid a special ex-gratia of RM1,000 to all eligible employees of Maybank Group in Malaysia including those covered under the CA as a performance reward. The payment was made over and above the 2 months’ contractual bonus payout. More recently, in August 2011 (prior to Hari Raya Aidilfitri), Maybank also paid another ex-gratia of RM750 to RM1,500 to eligible clerical and non-clerical employees.
- In 2010, Maybank provided a special “Back-to-School” financial assistance of RM200 per child to all employees earning RM2,500 and below with school-going children between the ages of seven to 17 years old. This included those governed by the MCBA/NUBE Collective Agreement.
- Since 1986, children of employees in Maybank Group who excel in the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR), Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM) examinations as per the minimum criteria set by the Bank are eligible for the Academic Excellence Award as a motivation towards academic excellence. This entitles the recipients to cash awards ranging from RM500 to RM2,000 and consolation awards ranging from RM300 to RM1,000.
- For children of employees entering an institution of higher learning in year 2011, Maybank provided a one-time financial assistance of RM1,500 per child to employees earning RM3,000 or less per month to help defray education expenses.
- In 2011, the Maybank Group Employees Share Scheme was introduced. Eligible clerical/non-clerical categories were given annual allotments of between 1,000 to 1,500 Maybank shares as part of the Long Term Incentive Plan.
- Employees are also encouraged to ask the Maybank Group Staff Welfare Fund for financial assistance for family medical expenses not covered under the CA as well as loss of properties caused by natural disasters. This assistance is provided immediately in urgent cases. This year, to-date, the Fund has disbursed a total of RM302,914.50 to help our employees in times of need. In 2010, the Fund disbursed a total of RM447,525.98.
In addition to monetary recognition and financial aid, Maybank has also proven itself to be fully committed to individual growth and career progression. In the last 12 months, some 7,080 employees, amounting to 83% of our clerical staff, underwent 202 different skills building and personal development courses and programmes. This was in addition to the 6,214 employees, or 75% of our clerical staff, who undertook 168 programs the previous year. A total of 1,607 of our clerical staff have been promoted to a range of positions from Supervisors to Banking Executives, showcasing Maybank’s commitment to help all our employees climb the career ladder.
All in all, as a result of our continued focus towards creating an ideal workplace for all our employees, Maybank has been recognized as one of the most caring employers not only in Malaysia but also in the region. Among the recognitions accorded to Maybank include The Caring Employer Award from the Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia, HR Excellence Gold Award by the Malaysian Institute of Human Resource Management, Exemplary Employer Award by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices Singapore and Work-Life Excellence Award Singapore.
Currently, a total 4,605 (61%) Maybank employees in the clerical/non-clerical category are NUBE members. However, some of these employees decided to form an in-house union called Maybank Non-Executive Union (MAYNEU). Although MAYNEU was registered as a trade union on January 3, 2011, NUBE has challenged this registration and which challenge is currently pending before the courts.
Over the past months, NUBE has carried out a series of actions against both the Bank and its employees which the Bank views as improper and will take the necessary legal recourse.
Maybank continues to be fully supportive of our staff and their rights and choice to be represented by unions in accordance with the relevant legal provisions and will not allow any form of improper action by any party to deter their stand in the matter.